On Translation Matters: When your Clients ask you not to outsource their Projects

Way Signs "Outsourcing - In-House Solutions"


It’s happened to me a few times. I get approached by a client for a project they ask me to do myself and not to outsource.

In such a situation, the way you view things matters a lot. Some would think that their clients don’t trust that the translation will be of a quality as good as the one they would provide themselves, and that could offend them.

As far as I’m concerned, I have learned to look at the bright side (or sides, actually).

First off, when you have had a loyal client for at least one year, you shouldn’t get upset when they ask you to do the job yourself. It probably means that they trust you to deliver the best translation possible.

Secondly, it could be related to confidentiality matters: your client is working on a new, top-secret project and wants no one involved but you, in an effort to limit the number of people aware of said project.

Thirdly, it’s not that your client doesn’t trust the quality of translation provided by the translator to whom you outsourced their project. It could be that they are familiar with your style and they like it, or that they had sent you a similar job earlier that you had done yourself, and they want the translation to remain consistent.

Now, what happens when you have too much on hand and you cannot take additional projects?

When you’re approached by a client to work on a job yourself but you don’t have time to do it, I suggest you do one of the following:

1. Say No

You have to learn (sooner or later) how to turn down a project without fear of losing your client. You could simply tell them that it is not humanly possible to finish the project yourself within the given deadline since you are already working on other translation jobs. I’m sure they’ll understand (plus, they will see how successful you are. If you have too much work, then you must be doing something right!).

2. Ask for More Time

Sometimes clients give you tight deadlines because the translation is part of an overall package of services that need to be delivered to their own clients. For this reason, they try to squeeze most services into a short period of time. Try negotiating the deadline if they don’t want their work to be outsourced.

3. Negotiate the Outsourcing Issue

Don’t be afraid to ask your client why they don’t want the work outsourced. If it is related to quality, you should reassure them that you only work with highly qualified translators and that in all cases you will be responsible for editing and proofreading the other translator’s work and that the quality of the translation you will deliver will be as good as the one you would do yourself. If it is any other reason, just do whatever pleases your client!

Do you have any other options or ideas related to this subject? Please share them with us!

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